Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

If you head west from London on the M4, in about 190 kilometers you’ll reach the city of Bath: which signifies you’ve reached the gateway to the Cotswolds.  The Cotswolds is a large, rural area in south-central England filled with rolling hills, castles, medieval churches & charming thatched towns right out of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.”  It is also officially known as one of England’s “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”  And because charm is the Cotswolds’ middle name, in this post, we’re searching for the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  

Best Bed Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Welcome to the Cotswolds!

The Cotswolds area is so large that it covers six counties, including (the nearly unpronounceable) Gloucestershire (locals drop several syllables) & Oxfordshire.  In nearly all towns listed below, you’ll find beautiful countryside, verdant green hills, cute country pubs, & of course, darling bed & breakfasts.  There are no Marriotts that I know of in the Cotswolds!  Nor would you want to stay in a Marriott.  In the Cotswolds, B&B’s are where you want to be, chatting with delightful owners on graceful porches, enjoying the good life.  

Best Bed and Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

You won’t be staying at a Marriott in the Cotswolds. Charming cottages are the “thing.”

 

Best Bed and Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Even cemeteries are charming in the Cotswolds…

Cotswolds Map

We’re taking a tour of the Cotswolds below, in search of the cutest towns, & the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  From Bath in the far south, we’ll head north up towards Cirencester, “The Capital of the Cotswolds,” then wind our way towards the sumptuous Hidcote Manor Garden in Chipping Campden.  The famous “Cotswolds Way,” a 102-mile nature trail, starts in Bath & ends in the north, also in Chipping Campden.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Cotswold Way

Views like this await you on the 102-mile long “Cotswold Way.”

Bath

Chipping Campden

Cheltenham

Cirencester

Bourton on Water

Burford

Stow on the Wold

Overview of the Cotswolds

This section will give you an overview of towns & cities in the Cotswolds, so that you can best determine where you’d like to stay, as we search for the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds.  After all, one person’s dynamite B&B may be boring for someone else ~ so let’s dig in a little bit & see what makes each town tick!  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Idyllic rural settings abound all throughout the Cotswolds…

If you look at the map above, we’ll start our tour in Bath with a short overview of the town, as well as a recommended B&B ~ & then we’ll move north from there, ending our tour in Chipping Campden.  I’m showing pictures of the towns in this post ~ not the B&B’s.  For numerous photos of each inn, simply click on the name of the inn.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Bath: Population 84,000.  If you like spas, Roman baths, & Jane Austen ~ then Bath is for you.  It’s more sophisticated than many of the smaller villages you’ll find in the Cotswolds, so if you want more of a “city” experience, then give Bath a try.  For a cozy Victorian B&B under $100, try: Milton House.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Bath, Riverside Walk

If Roman baths and stately elegance appeal, with a side of Jane Austen ~ stay in Bath.

Cirencester: Population 19,000.  Cirencester is just about in the center of the Cotswolds, & is also known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds” since it sits at a major crossroads.  It’s also a major shopping town ~ so if shopping is your thing, then Cirencester is where you should base yourself in the Cotswolds.  If you want to be within walking distance to shops & Cirencester’s museum, & like having a bar on-site, try: The Fleece at Cirencester.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Cirencester Church

If medieval churches and shopping are your thing: try Cirencester.

Burford: Population 1,340.  If you want to get away from crowds, then head to Burford.  As you can tell by its population of just over 1,000 people ~ you’ll definitely be off-the-beaten-path here!  Also, if you love antique shopping, Burford is where you want to go.  If you’re looking for elegant country cottages & plush rooms, try: The Lamb Inn.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Burford High Street

If you want a quaint, charming little town ~ head to Burford. Shown here is Burford’s High Street.

Cheltenham: Population 115,000.  Cheltenham is one of the larger towns in the Cotswolds, so if you want more of a “buzz,” then it’s a good choice for you.  Cheltenham is also known as a health & holiday spa town, since mineral springs were discovered there in 1716.  So if some spa time & a little pampering is what you’re after, choose Cheltenham.  For stately elegance & world-class, friendly owners, try: Ravenhurst Bed & Breakfast.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham

For a healthy spa getaway, head to Cheltenham.

Bourton-on-the-Water: Population 3,296.  Bourton-on-the-Water is known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” because it features several picturesque arched bridges over the River Windrush, which runs through the village.  Bourton is also known for its elegant High Street, Cotswold Motor Museum (perfect for car lovers), as well as Birdland Park & Gardens.  So if you like birds or cars with a touch of elegance, Bourton is for you!  For a serene setting & an excellent breakfast, try: The Red House East.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Bourton on the Water

Bourton-on-the-Water is known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” for all its low bridges over the River Windrush.

Stow-on-the-Wold: Population 2,000.  Stow-on-the-Wold is a small, market town that sits atop an 800-ft hill where a number of Cotswolds roads converge ~ making it a popular little town.  It is also one of the most scenic of the Cotswolds towns, oozing charm & color at each turn.  If you want easy access to several other towns & want to soak in the charm of a quaint village: go to Stow.  For quaint, well-appointed cottages with charming hosts, try: Cross Keys Cottage Bed & Breakfast.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Stow on the Wold

One of the most darling towns in all of the Cotswolds is Stow-on-the-Wold.

Chipping Campden: Population 2,206.  Finally, we’ve made it all the way north, near the top region of the Cotswolds to Chipping Campden, home of the famous Hidcote Manor Garden (I went ~ it’s a MUST!).  Aside from lovely gardens, Chipping Campden is also known for its elegant High Street, & is the northern-most town on the “Cotswold Way.”  For a delightful country experience with fresh, local jams for breakfast, try: Taplins Bed & Breakfast

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden

Staying in Chipping Campden is a great base to explore Hidcote Manor Garden, the “Cotswolds Way,” or simply shop on the High Street.

Hidcote Manor Garden

Since we ended our Cotswolds B&B tour in Chipping Campden ~ it’s only fitting that we take a walk through its most famous landmark: Hidcote Manor Garden.  In a country full of famous gardens, Hidcote is one of the most famous.  Created in the early 1900’s by Lawrence Johnston, it was designed as a series of outdoor rooms that flow easily from one to the next, each with their own character.  

Today, Hidcote is owned & managed by the National Trust with the help of donations, & their goal is to keep the gardens open to the public forever.  Even if you’re not an avid gardener or nature lover, I still think there is something for everyone to enjoy & appreciate at Hidcote.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden

Welcome to Hidcote Manor Garden…

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden

Graceful statues framed by elegant arches at Hidcote.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden

A view towards the manor through colorful gardens.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden

Step from one “outdoor room” to another…

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photo tour & overview of the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  If you’re planning a getaway to the Cotswolds, it should help give you a better idea of where to base yourself during your stay.  

Have you been to the Cotswolds?  Did you walk along the “Cotswold Way?”  What was your favorite city or village?  Mine is Stow-on-the-Wold.  Let me know in the comments below!

Best Bed and Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Goodbye, Cotswolds…

Noelle Bertram is a restaurant owner, former fitness coach, Huffington Post writer, & all-around entrepreneur who travels full-time now & writes all about it! Catch up with her on Instagram or @ her website about being the ultimate, fearless travel girl: GirlWhoTravelstheWorld.com.
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